BIRTH OF MACHIAVELLI
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Machiavelli03 MAGGIO
1469 Niccolò Machiavelli
nacque a Firenze.    ^top^
      Nel 1498 Machiavelli fu eletto Segretario della Repubblica, un incarico che gli fornì l'occasione di viaggiare spesso. Nel 1500, infatti, fu inviato presso Luigi XII di Francia e, nel 1502, andò in legazione presso Cesare Borgia. In questo periodo si batté per dotare la Repubblica Fiorentina di armi proprie. Dopo aver preso parte ad alcune ambascerie in Tirolo, a Monaco, in Francia e presso il conclave succeduto alla morte di papa Pio III, venne condannato ad un anno di confino: un effetto degli eventi che seguirono la decisione della Lega Santa di ripristinare la dinastia medicea a Firenze (Dieta di Modena, 1512).
      Fu questo uno dei suoi periodi più difficili, anche a causa del carcere e delle torture che un'accusa di tentata congiura antimedicea lo portò a subire. Nella seconda metà dell'anno compose Il Principe, opera che Machiavelli offrì a Lorenzo de' Medici (nipote del Magnifico) tra il settembre del 1515 e lo stesso mese del 1516.Nel 1520, il cardinale Giulio de' Medici gli diede l'incarico di scrivere le Istorie Fiorentine per conto dello Studio pisano. Gli otto libri delle Istorie furono consegnati un anno dopo al nuovo committente, Clemente VII.
      Nel 1526, Francesco Guicciardini, suo intimo amico, tentò di mettere in scena una replica della sua commedia La Mandragola, che però si risolse in un nulla di fatto. In seguito all'indebolimento di papa Clemente VII dopo il sacco di Roma (1527), a Firenze venne restaurata la Repubblica, ma Machiavelli non fu chiamato a ricoprirvi incarichi. Morì il 21 giugno dello stesso anno.
     Machiavel, un des humanistes de la Renaissance, homme politique, philosophe, écrivain italien. Né à Florence. Secrétaire de la République de Florence, il remplit de nombreuses missions diplomatiques (en Italie, en France, en Allemagne). Il réorganise l’armée qui avait subi quelques revers. Mais la révolution de 1513 place la riche famille des Médicis sur le trône. Il est éloigné du pouvoir. Durant cette retraite forcée, il écrit la plupart de ses livres (Discours sur l’Art de la Guerre, Histoire de Florence). Dans le "Prince", il développe ses théories politiques, fort éloignées de l’idéal grec, ce qui est assez rare, en cette période de redécouverte des valeurs de l’Antiquité et spécialement des démocraties grecques. Machiavel ne se préoccupe pas de concevoir le meilleur régime politique possible. Il dénonce l’influence de la Religion sur le Politique et met en valeur une société modene, basée sur les nécessités contemporaines, où la "Raison d’Etat" a pour objectif ultime l’amélioration de l’Homme et de la Société, un nouvel ordre moral, (politique et Social) libre et laïque. Il a laissé son nom à une façon d’agir très décriée, le Machiavélisme (qu’il expose dans "le Prince" justement). Pour lui, la fin justifie les moyens. La raison d’état influencera toutes les Monarchies Absolues des XVII° et XVIII° siècles.
     Niccolò Machiavelli. Italian writer and statesman, Florentine patriot, and original political theorist whose principal work, The Prince, brought him a reputation of amoral cynicism.
click for another interpretation     His short work Del modo di trattare i sudditi della Val di Chiana ribellati (1503) presents the fundamental principle of a new doctrine for the first time: "The world has always been inhabited by human beings who have always had the same passions."
     He was a witness to the bloody vengeance taken by Cesare Borgia on his mutinous captains at the town of Sinigaglia (31 Dec 1502), of which he wrote a famous account, Descrizione del modo tenuto dal Duca Valentino nello ammazzare Vitellozzo . . .
     
On the day after Machiavelli's his return to Florence (June 17, 1508) from a mission to Germany, he wrote his observations on that country: Rapporto delle cose della Magna. In this work, compiled in the course of his official duties, and likewise in the literary version made four years later under the title Ritratto delle cose della Magna, he was able to pick out with great acumen the reasons both for the strength of the German nation and for its political weaknesses. Yet all his official reports, though marvelously intuitive, are marred by a tendency to theorize; they are bold syntheses, not complete and accurate sources of information.
     After the 1512 restauration of the Medici in Florence. Machiavelli was reduced to poverty. He sought refuge in the little property near Florence that he had inherited from his father. There he employed his leisure in writing, between spring and autumn 1513, his two most famous works, Il principe and a large part of the Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio.  
     Machiavelli's affections always lay with the republic, and all of his theories were intended for its betterment; but the corruption of the times, the weakness of the states of Italy, and the threat of foreign conquest made him long for that "new prince" who might give reality to his great dream of the redemption of Italy. This "redeemer," to whom he sought in vain to give a face and a name, would have had to overcome superhuman difficulties; nor could there be much choice of means in attaining such ends. Machiavelli, in Il principe, attempted to indicate to the prince those means that were compatible with the conditions of the time and with human nature. Even religion — for which he had a deep feeling though he was not outwardly pious — was subordinated by him to the state's iron necessity and made into a tool of power. Indeed, Machiavelli is regarded as the inventor of the "reason of state," though that expression appears for the first time 20 years after his death. Il principe, while its underlying ideas are the same as those of the Discorsi, won a greater reputation, thanks to its concision, its vigorous imagery, and the bluntness of some of its aphorisms, which were taken too literally by contemporaries and by posterity. He remarked of certain cynical precepts that he would not have proffered them if mankind had not been wicked. This bleak pessimism is certainly not refuted by the annals of his own time. Yet his longing was for a society of good and pure men; he sought it in ancient times and, in his own day, admired less civilized nations as being less corrupt. Machiavelli's great hope was that Il principe, dedicated to Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence from 1513, would obtain from the Medici an office to support his family and satisfy his love of action; but the hope was in vain.
      From this time also dates the comedy first entitled Commedia di Callimaco e di Lucrezia, later La Mandragola (1518), in which the wickedness and corruption of men, particularly of the clergy, are the subject of laughter — but of a bitter and painful laughter that is never an end in itself. Machiavelli's hopes were raised when, on the death of Duke Lorenzo, the Cardinal Giulio de' Medici came to govern Florence. He was presented to the Cardinal by Lorenzo Strozzi, to whom in gratitude he dedicated the dialogue Dell'arte della guerra (1521) which is complementary to his two political treatises.
     After Pope Leo X's death (December 1521), the cardinal Giulio de' Medici, who remained sole master of Florence, was more than ever inclined to reform its government. He sought the advice of Machiavelli, who simply refurbished the Discorso composed for Leo X. After the death of Pope Adrian VI in September 1523, Giulio de' Medici became Pope Clement VII. Machiavelli now worked with more enthusiasm on the Istorie fiorentine, his official history of Florence; in June 1525 he was able to present the Pope with eight books, and he received in return 120 florins and encouragement to continue the work. The Istorie fiorentine, like his earlier writings, bears the impress of a powerful and original mind. In this work, written by fits and starts and wearily dragged on into his later years, Machiavelli enters on a new road, leaving behind him the traditions and methods of Humanist historiography. His love of truth often in conflict with the necessity to avoid offending his powerful patrons, he writes history more as a politician than as a historian set on discovering the truth, often accepting sources uncritically and accommodating facts to his thesis. It is not narrative exactitude that is to be sought in the Istorie but the power of synthesis, the brilliant coordination and organization of facts.
MACHIAVELLI ONLINE:
Favola di Belfagor arcidiavolo _ Questa novella, conosciuta anche col titolo Il demonio che prese moglie, fu scritta dal Machiavelli in data non certa, ma molto probabilmente compresa - secondo gli studiosi - tra gli anni 1518 e 1527. E' l'unica novella a noi nota scritta dal Machiavelli; fu pubblicata per la prima volta col nome del suo autore nel 1549.
Principe _ È una sorta di "istruzioni per l'uso" per l'aspirante Principe, scritto dal Machiavelli durante il suo forzato riposo a San Casciano. Indirizzato a Lorenzo de' Medici, riepiloga la storia italiana degli anni precedenti, indicando i punti di forza e di debolezza dei vari protagonisti, con l'intento di spingere Lorenzo ad assumere il ruolo di Principe che fu di Cesare Borgia.
Zipped:
Dell'arte della guerra _ Si tratta di una serie di discorsi, elaborati tra il 1519 ed il 1520, noti anche con il titolo di De re militari. Si sostiene in essi, tra le altre cose, la superiorità della milizia nazionale rispetto ad eserciti composti da truppe mercenarie.
Discorsi sopra la prima Deca di Tito Livio _ Opera scritta tra il 1513 ed il 1517 circa, nella forma di un commento alla Storia di Roma dello storico Tito Livio. In essa Machiavelli, opponendosi alle idee dominanti del Medioevo, sostiene che le vicende umane dipendono dal capriccio della Fortuna piuttosto che da un ordine divino imperscrutabile.
Mandragola _ Controversa è la data di questa commedia in cinque atti, risalente, probabilmente, ai primi mesi del 1518. Controversa è anche la data della sua prima rappresentazione, forse da collocarsi durante il carnevale dello stesso anno. L'azione della Mandragola si svolge a Firenze nei primi anni del Cinquecento e descrive le vicende di un giovane innamorato alle prese con gli ostacoli che lo allontanano dalla donna amata. Nonostante la ricchezza di topoi di ascendenza classica, provenzale ed in generale appartenenti alla commedia tradizionale, la Mandragola deve la sua originalità alla strabiliante fisionomia dei personaggi.
L'Asino I CapitoliClizia I DecennaliDiscorso o dialogo intorno alla nostra lingua (1515) — Istorie FiorentineLa vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca (1520)
(In English translations):
The Art of WarDiscourses on LivyHistory of Florence, and of the Affairs of Italy, From the Earliest Times to the Death of Lorenzo the MagnificentThe PrinceThe PrinceThe Prince (with two shorter works)
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Niccolo Machiavelli — The Prince
50x40cm, by Werner Horvath



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